As a kid, no matter what went on, I always felt safe. Safe from harm, safe from sleeping rough, safe from being hungry, safe from conflict. I didn’t realise there was a whole different world out there. It didn’t make sense that someone would flee their home. I remember thinking, ‘they must be desperate’. And then I realised that was it. Desperate conditions beyond their control have made them refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people or stateless. No one chooses it. Safety is a human right. No matter where you are from.
June 20 is World Refugee Day – a day to celebrate and empower people seeking asylum and help create a better Australia for everyone. The theme of this year’s World Refugee Day is the right to seek safety which includes safe borders, not forcing anyone back if doing so would jeopardise their life or freedom and non-discriminatory, humane treatment.
Conflict, war, persecution and natural disasters have forced millions around the world to flee their homes. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, in May 2022, the number of forcibly displaced people globally surpassed 100 million. That is more than 1 per cent of the world’s population and equivalent to the 14th most populous country on the planet.
So this World Refugee Day, think about the right to safety. This year, we’re supporting the World Refugee Day Telethon, powered by our friends at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and calling on the community to show their support of refugees and people seeking asylum with a donation. The Telethon is a chance to recognise the strength and resilience of refugees and people seeking asylum, and the incredible contribution they make to our community.
The ASRC is Australia’s largest independent human rights organisation providing support to more than 7,000 people seeking asylum each year, and the Telethon is the not-for-profit’s largest annual fundraising event.
For more information, or to donate, visit https://bit.ly/3bc37D8